City of Storm Lake Issues Water Conservation Reminder

Residents and businesses within the City of Storm Lake are reminded to conserve water whenever possible.

A news release from the City says water use has been creeping upward in recent days, and has exceeded four million gallons per day. Conserving water helps make an adequate supply available for everyone, and allows the necessary reserve for firefighting. Voluntary conservation during the warm, dry periods of summer can help prevent the need to declare mandatory conservation measures.

Residents and businesses are asked to not water lawns during midday hours. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, half of water used outdoors goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, runoff, and over-watering. If lawns and gardens are watered, it should be done before 10am or after 5pm to help avoid peaks in demand. Under the current conservation measures, a permit is required for power washing, filling swimming pools, and installing new sod or seed lawns. Contact Storm Lake City Hall for more information.

More water conservation tips can be found below.

• When watering lawns, arrange sprinklers so water isn’t wasted running into streets and driveways.

• If sprinklers are set on a timer, ensure they aren’t running on rainy days or during high winds.

• Mulching around plantings slows down the evaporation of moisture.

• Lawns don’t necessarily need watering simply because it’s hot. If you step on grass and it springs back, it doesn’t need additional water, according to the EPA. Raising your mower blade slightly can also help grass develop deeper root growth to be more drought-resistant.

• Give the hose a break – sweep driveways, sidewalks, decks and steps instead of hosing them off. Don’t forget to check hose connections for leaks.

• Covering pools and hot-tubs when not in use will reduce evaporation loss of water.

• Little things make a difference in the household, and can save money on water and energy bills. Wash laundry in full loads, or set a load size selector down to the appropriate level. Use the dishwasher for full loads also. Check faucets and toilets for leaks that can waste gallons of water daily. Turn off the tap when shaving or brushing teeth. A 10-minute shower with a low-flow shower head uses 25 gallons of water, while a full-size bathtub averages 35-50 gallons. When upgrading fixtures and appliances, look for efficient options that can save up to a third of annual household water costs.

• Minimize washing vehicles. If you do wash, use a water bucket or hose with a flow control instead of a running hose throughout the process. Avoid washing in peak demand periods.